Friday, May 05, 2006

Christian Zionism

Prompted by a visiting lecture, I and one of our college lecturers have engaged in a couple of rounds of friendly discussions on this topic.

His contention is that Gentile believers have become ‘Israel’ without the need of converting to Judaism as per Paul’s argument in Romans 4 and that, therefore, the land promises to Jews are OUT and believers inherit “the world” i.e. “cosmos” as we have it in Romans 4:13 .

I’m with him for the first part of his argument (which is supported in Galatians also) but not with him for the second part.

Why not ?

I contend that it is BOTH-AND rather than EITHER-OR which is how Replacement Theology would have it. The Apostle Paul never preached a REPLACEMENT only an INCLUSION of the Gentiles. Us Gentiles have now turned that around into a “cuckoo in the nest syndrome” and pushed the Jewish egg out of nest and are still doing it.He seemed personally uncomfortable with the term “replacement” but essentially this is what he is doing.

But I digress.

More to point, my question is what then do you do with a scripture like Matthew 23: 37-39 ?

Unless this Scripture assumes a) the presence of a Jewish religious leadership b) in Jerusalem c) at the Second Coming (yet future) d) with a national conversion you’re in for a tortuous session of having to explain away Jesus’ own words.

Of course, if you simply take Jesus at His word, what he says dovetails perfectly with Paul’s argument in Romans 11:25-26 where the exegesis is clearly of “all Israel” coming to faith AFTER “the full number of the Gentiles has come in”.

What could be simpler?

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